Charlie Qureshi

Leo’s wife. Southern and Jewish. Gentle and mousy, polite and accommodating, Lucille is forced to become tough and shrewd.

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SONGS
“Leo At Work” / “What Am I Waiting For?” – with Leo Frank.
“You Don’t Know This Man” – with Britt Craig
“Do it Alone”
“This is Not Over Yet” – with Leo Frank
“All the Wasted Time” –
with Leo Frank

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Frank was introduced to Lucille Selig (February 29, 1888 – April 23, 1957) shortly after he arrived in Atlanta. She came from a prominent and upper middle class Jewish family of industrialists who two generations earlier had founded the first synagogue in Atlanta.

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Though she was very different from Frank, and laughed at the idea of speaking Yiddish, they were married in November 1910, at the Selig residence in Atlanta.

Despite marrying Leo, a Yankee, she is a true Southerner through and through. Nonetheless, her fight for his life against all odds is nothing short of heroic.

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She was only 27 when her husband was lynched, and she turned her hurt inward. She became an embittered and somewhat reclusive soul. But the saddest thing about her is what happened after her death.

Lucille Frank died in 1957 and her body was cremated. She wanted her ashes scattered in a public park, but there was a statute in Atlanta that outlawed such a practice. So Patterson’s funeral home kept the ashes in a cardboard box for several years.

In that period, the Temple was bombed, and Atlanta’s Jewish community had a revival of the fear and anxiety that had oppressed it after the Frank lynching. In the early ’60s, while this new wound was fresh, someone at Patterson’s called Alan Marcus, Lucille’s nephew, and said they needed to dispose of the ashes. He didn’t know what to do with them; he didn’t want to have a public burial ceremony for fear of renewed hostilities.

So he and his brother went to Oakland Cemetery one day at dawn with some garden tools, and in a private ceremony they buried Lucille Frank’s ashes between the tombstones of her parents in the Jewish section. And there they remain, unmarked.

Steve Oney said of this …

To me, that tells you exactly what the Frank lynching did to Atlanta’s Jewish community.

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